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The Mission Of Child Protection In Kurdistan

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Generally speaking, the mission of Child Protection in Kurdistan is to ensure that all children, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, country of origin or religious belief, have the means to survive, are safe and have access to food, primary health care, and basic education. Furthermore, work to ensure a better future for all boys, with a comprehensive approach to the many aspects of their lives. This essay will cover the history of one of the major NGOs in Kurdistan, in the name of (Kurdistan Save the Children-KSC), in which it has the oldest root. It is worth to mention that Kurdistan is only a government without being independence since 1991, and it is under the supervision of Iraq.

Kurdistan Save the Children is a non-profit, non-political, and non-sectarian organization that assists regardless of gender, race, traditions, religious or political affiliation. They work with children in various fields of child protection, sponsorship, health, and education. the main aim is to work directly or indirectly, to ensure a better future for children, through improving and providing their various medical, social, economic and educational needs. It has been founded around since 1991, by Ms. Hero Ibrahim Ahmed and other well-known dedicated people who believe in the child’s right to a trouble-free childhood. The main office is located in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan Region/ Iraq. Kurdistan Children’s Fund (KCF) is a partner organization of KSC, registered in the United Kingdom since 1993, which works as an international fundraising body for KSC. The Child Protection Program was established in 1991 to protect children’s rights in the Kurdistan Region/Iraq within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Children are the main priority of Kurdistan Save the Children’s programs and projects. The services that they provide, work to implement a peaceful and suitable environment to ensure every child is provided equal opportunities to protection, development, and participation with regards to their highest interests through KSC’s diverse sectors and department programs and projects in coordination with other integral members of society such as family members, community, government, and local and international organizations.

KSC’s objectives: Child Protection is the main priority since the services provided in Education, Health, Youth, Sponsorship, and Children with Cancer programs all fall under the umbrella of protecting children’s rights. From the beginning of its establishment in 1991, Kurdistan Save the Children has put all its efforts into providing children with a protected environment, far from all forms of maltreatment and exploitation in collaboration with local and international organizations to ensure no child is mistreated in any form. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and all additional international laws and agreements relative to the rights of children are standards for all our projects and activities in child protection. Within the framework of child protection, the strategies Kurdistan Save the Children uses in its projects and activities, in short, and long-time frames, is to work on: protecting vulnerability of children, child marriage, protecting them from maltreatment (abuse), juvenile justice, child trafficking, working children, and cases of undocumented regards the children.

Kurdistan Save the Children’s Stakeholders: Children are the main priority of KSC’s programs and projects. The services that they provide, basically work to implement a peaceful and appropriate atmosphere to ensure that every child provided equal opportunities to protection, development, and participation with regards to their highest interests through KSC’s diverse sectors, department programs and projects in coordination with other integral members of society such as family members, community, government, and local and international organizations. Also, they believe that alongside with integral members of society will guarantee and improve the ratio of the protection of children and their rights. Families are the most effective atmosphere to nurture and educate children omitting cases that are not in favor of the child’s highest interest. Moreover, they have constantly suggested and encouraged the government, local authorities, and organizations, also worked with the assistance and participation of the community regards to the children. KSC works to strengthen the relation between integral members and responsible parties of the child protection system to further improve and develop the coordination and support between them to work together to provide a safe and protected environment faraway from all forms of child abuse, harm, maltreatment, and exploitation. Ultimately, they have worked on a local community and governmental basis to identify shortcomings and needs, in order to strengthen child protection and the systems as well, through laws and national policies to make sure the child rights, therefore the provision of all their needs in a way that is suitable and in correlation with international criteria in order for children to live their life peacefully in and with a family, community environments, additionally ensure to the best abilities child development and protection.

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KSC Organization Chart

From the executive summary report from 2018, in which it is the twenty-seven anniversary, a new year begins, but children still in need of assistance. Regards to working toward its long-term goals of decreasing the number of fatalities in children with health issues, reintegrating children into school environments, upholding the protection of child rights, supporting child protection and juvenile justice laws, also highlighting and developing the abilities of young generation through the continuance of its various outcomes. People from a different background, perspectives have been working and visited them at a time, such as: Kurdish, Arabs, Turkmens, Sunnis, Shias, Christians, and Assyrians had many conflicts outside of the KSC building, but it became a place to get together them. Despite the fact that Kurdistan is undergoing a financial crisis and there was a shortage of stable fund sources in a few years ago, with the help of locals, companies, international donors, and all the child friendly community members who donated through KSC’s collection boxes, they were be able to continue to provide support to children and youth in the fields of child protection, health, education, sponsorship, and youth development. Instabilities and tensions happened in Kurdistan between different sects, also between Kurdistan Region and Bagdad Governments (capital of Iraq), as a consequence of these conflicts, Sadly, Kirkuk’s office was closed in 2018.

Child Protection

KSC mainly aims to protect children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, and neglect by providing emergency relief to children, or in the consequences of emergencies and disasters. According to the Annually Report by KSC, in 2018, they have provided psychological, and financial support to juveniles who have come in contact with the law. Numerous workshops have been presented in the purpose of enhancing the staff’s ability at the juvenile justice institutions in Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, Erbil, and Duhok. Moreover, the project ‘Children at Risk’, (which intended to identify and protect children working, begging, and under threat of others) was conducted with the help of the juvenile police, governmental police unit initially established with the support of Schneir influential Child-friendly Space program sponsored by UNICEF to provide psychosocial and case management support for around (6000) child refugees and displaced children residing in camps in Sulaymaniyah area came to an end in 2017, due to the lack of funding. KSC also provided aid emergency to immigrant families from other places in Sulaimaniy and Garmyan, as well as emergency relief to the intense earthquake(7.8magnitude) survivors in Darbandixan and Halabja

KSC administered some programs for children, include the following:

  • Sponsorship Program. it is monthly financial support through sponsors for a brighter future for the children without parents or children of parents with low incomes, for children to continue in their education. In 2018, through the Sponsorship Program, around 1500 children received monthly support, which was provided mainly by IQ Company, local and international sponsors and the donation boxes.
  • The Education Program consists of different numbers and long-term projects that aim to provide a secure environment for, particularly children where they can improve their skills and encourage them to currently, KSC manages seven children’s cultural centre’s operating for children located in strategic areas, Another educational project is ”Shahid Jabbar Exemplary School”, considered as one of the well-known schools KSC continues to manage the tutorial training for Children with Special Educational Needs, as one of the only places that serve children who cannot continue their education in-state school settings.
  • Health. In this program, they have been working to improve the health of children by providing financial and referral assistance in need of surgery and medicine. Because families are usually unable to access the medical care needed, due to the low income, for this reason, KSC funds surgeries for hundreds of children annually (nationally and internationally) and invites foreign medical teams to Kurdistan to perform surgeries and train or mentor local medical staff. In 2018, (1035) accessed to the treatment, whereas 428 of them received access to surgeries in Kurdistan or an abroad through this Program, refugees and IDP children that staying in Kurdistan were among them. KSC also supports some public Hospitals including Shar Hospital’s Neonatal Unit- Sulaimani, Sulaimani’s paediatric Hospital, the Burn and Reconstructive Hospital-Sulaimani, and the Children’s Training center-Sulaimani.
  • Children with Cancer Main objective goals of this program is providing cancer-stricken children, and their families particularly with psychological and social support. This project proceeds to provide its services throughout Hiwa Hospital in Sulaimani, Nanakali Hospital in Erbil and Zhin center in Duhok with the help of several volunteers (particularly They try to use a different technique when children receive treatment through the organization of psychosocial rainbow include day trip, birthday celebration, support group parent meetings, and awareness campaigns and activities on how to help cancer-stricken children, as well as filling the gaps in treatments, medicines or screening when it’s necessary.
  • The Youth Ability Development Program. Early on, because of the lack of space where youth could display and promote their capabilities and skills, Kurdistan Save the Children opened the Youth Activity Center with the assumption of providing a place where children could extend their growth after the age of twelve. Although, there are many places for youths to visit nowadays, KSC’s Youth Activity center are recognized for their work as an extra curriculum learning institutions and vocational training centers. The center opens various courses for both genders equally that engage children. After the course, certificates will be given to the graduates which can be used in professional fields and has since caused a high demand for the youth center courses.

And some of the projects that have been done by KSC in 2018, listed below:

  • Juvenile Justice. The aim juvenile justice program is to strengthen and advance the juvenile justice system in the region. Juvenile Justice refers to all the institutes that directly deal with juveniles who have come in contact with the law. Such as the juvenile court, juvenile reformatories, police stations, active rights and conditions of the juvenile justice system, custody centers and institutions and faculties that are not yet available or active in the local practicing judicial systems and law. These services are important in protecting their rights and preventing crimes or misbehaviour in the future.
  • Legal Services. The provision of legal services to juveniles who have come in association with the law. include legal representation of juveniles in court, providing legal proxies for juveniles, assisting the release of juveniles on bail and providing legal counseling and assistance to juveniles and families. The total number of beneficiaries: 927.
  • Social Psychological Services. This service is related to juveniles who have come in contact with the law. This co-operation is implemented by psychological or social workers through the processes of case management, visiting juvenile’s families, and referring cases to interested parties. The total number of beneficiaries: 1428.
  • Strengthening the Capacity of Juveniles. who have come in Contact with the Law. With the purpose of improve juveniles into the community and strengthening their abilities, through organizing a different number of sports, arts and life skill activities. The total number of beneficiaries: 455.
  • Strengthening the Capacity of Staff at Juvenile Justice Institutions. The total number of beneficiaries: 331.
  • Financial Services. Within this service more than 500 items and aid has been distributed to hundreds of juveniles.

Children at Risk Project

Another important project assists children that are at risk of child protection concerns such as children who are exploited by their guardians to work or beg in public places (like street or bazzar) and are at a higher risk of being abused. KSC conducted an assessment to identify the scale of this issue in the year 2017, the results showed that 424 children between 4-14 years old in Sulaimani were under the risk. In order to protect these children, KSCs staff in coordination with the Sulaymaniyah mayor presented a workshop with the attendance of relevant institutions and organizations to display a project to prevent the issue. KSC with the help of juvenile police by creating the committee includes 4 psychologists, a bus, a driver, transportation expenses for 8 policemen and officers, as well as food and necessities for those children. In seven months of visiting different public places to assess, monitor and protect children in harm’s way, the results were like this:

  • 618 site visits were conducted to public places, work places, cafeterias, play centers, hotels, street corners, and intersections. 336 of the outings were at daytime and 282 of the outings were at night.
  • As a result of the continuous field outings to public places and the Sulaimani bazaar, 483 children (379 boys-104 girls) were identified between the ages 4-17 years that were at risk. 345 of these children were I DPs, 37 children were refugees, 49 children were Sulaimani locals, and 52 children were from Sulaimani’s surrounding sub-districts.
  • 372 child cases were managed, 372 meetings were held with guardians of the children at risk, 82 field visits were conducted to family homes, 50 cases were referred (24 cases were referred to UNHCR, 14 cases were referred to the Juvenile Police, and 12 cases were referred to Social Care), and 59 violations were identified by employers against children.

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The Mission Of Child Protection In Kurdistan. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-mission-of-child-protection-in-kurdistan/
“The Mission Of Child Protection In Kurdistan.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-mission-of-child-protection-in-kurdistan/
The Mission Of Child Protection In Kurdistan. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-mission-of-child-protection-in-kurdistan/> [Accessed 5 Dec. 2022].
The Mission Of Child Protection In Kurdistan [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2022 Dec 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-mission-of-child-protection-in-kurdistan/
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